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17 Signs You Are Stepping Towards Success Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

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17 Signs You Are Stepping Towards Success Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

Not sure if you’re on the right curve along the road to success?

There are lots of times when all of us feel that success is far from our reach. We feel that we’re struggling to make progress even though we’ve put in the effort. That’s okay. Be happy about the things you’ve already accomplished and show patience for what you have yet to achieve.

Quickly put behind you the things that weren’t successful. In other words, smile at your successes every day. Then push forward.

Check out these 17 signs that will prove that you certainly are on the road to success.

1.  You’re facing your fears and winning.

Previously, you froze when you started moving outside of your comfort zone. You were frightened you might fail. However, now that you have taken many small steps, it’s not as terrifying as you expected. You know that in order to be successful, you must push through your fears, and that’s just what you’re doing. You’re facing those fears head on. This is definitely is a sign of success.

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2.  You’ve accepted that failure is part of self growth – and that’s positive.

To you, failure is the jumping off point for having another go, but maybe changing your tactics to adjust would fair better. Your “I accept that failures are part of success” attitude has enabled you to use your creativity to solve problems and jump hurdles. Each setback is a new opportunity to start afresh. You have made a choice between letting failure hold you back, and viewing failure as a positive part of your journey. Well done!

3.  You believe in the power of focusing on today.

This has been a difficult concept to deal with, but eventually you accepted that your real life is happening right now. Your focus is on the present and on what you can do and create today. Yesterday is in the past and can’t be altered. The moment you start worrying about tomorrow or about an annoyance from yesterday, precious moments are lost that could have brought a boost to yourself or others.

4.  You realize that you can’t please everyone all the time.

What a huge step towards success was taken when you stopped trying to please everyone. You’ve found that some people just can’t be pleased, no matter what. You’ve found that there’s more than one way to do something. You do what you believe is right for you, and whatever works best. You’ve filled your life with people who really matter to you.

5.  You accentuate the positive thoughts in your mind.

It’s not easy to accentuate the positive because our minds are wandering from the past to the future throughout every waking moment. Replacing the negative with positive thoughts is only achieved through practise. You’ve found that having positive thoughts results in a calmer attitude, particularly when handling difficulties. You are also becoming competent at silencing your inner critic (who can be very harsh).

6.  You’ve stopped judging and blaming others.

At last, you’ve escaped from the habit of blaming other people for whatever happens to you. You know how to step back from the situation. You look at it from a different angle in order to find a creative solution. You’ve found you are calmer when you’re less judgmental. It’s easier to criticize, but instead you try to understand the other person’s point of view. This is an impressive step forward toward being successful.

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7.  You’ve started pursuing the things you’re passionate about.

You’ve made some changes so you can pursue your passion. That means you get up every day excited about working towards the day’s mini-goals. You have special talents and skills that enable you to contribute to the world and benefit others. You’re keen to use these skills to the best of your ability. You know you can do that only if you’re pursuing your passion.

8.  You take time to be grateful every day.

You’ve found that one great way to move towards success is to be grateful. As you wake up, you think of 5 things that you are grateful for. You also smile about things that are going well in your life. Again at night, you’re grateful for 5 things that went well during the day. You ask yourself, “In what ways was I successful today?” Being grateful helps you concentrate on positives.

9.  You avoid busyness and focus on effectiveness.

It’s easy to fill your day with being busy without achieving anything. If this pattern is repeated, it can lead to frustration and the feeling that success just isn’t within your grasp and never will be. So, you avoid busyness, focusing on making progress instead, little by little. You feel excited about what you’re achieving. You can see that you’re productive, efficient, and effective. It is this, and not busyness, that is your way to success.

10. You set yourself a goal to achieve every day.

You know that drifting along doesn’t lead to success, so you start each day with a plan. You have a clear list of jobs you’ll accomplish to move you closer to your vision. While you have wider goals for the future, you set yourself mini-goals for each week and each day. You know how you intend to reach your goals. Your vision is a vivid picture that dances in your mind.

11. You try to see positives in each setback or difficulty.

There’s a positive hidden in each setback or difficulty. Now, you look for those positives. No longer do you focus on the setbacks themselves, as you did in the past. You see beyond to the good things that accompany negative circumstances. You even get excited about obstacles because of the positive outcomes that can result. Obstacles can lead to places you never dreamed of.

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12. You’ve acknowledged that you don’t need to be perfect.

Some of the stress has been removed from your life, now that you’ve stopped striving for perfection. Actually, you have learned to accept yourself the way you are – vibrant and competent. You believe in yourself. You make mistakes just like all of us. You look at mistakes as “life’s little lessons” that make you a stronger person. A better version of yourself emerges from the mistakes and propels you forward.

13. You are aware that building self-confidence is a key to success.

Feeling confident gives calmness and sets people up for success. You have worked at becoming more confident and that is commendable. Confidence is a skill to acquire, if you are traveling the road to success. The key to becoming confident is to repeat a particular technique until you can do it comfortably. You’ll fail at the start (of course), but getting up and trying again is part of the process.

14. You give away smiles regularly – it’s a habit.

You smile at people you pass on the street. You toss a coin to buskers and make them smile. You send emails or text messages, praising friends for something they’ve accomplished. Sometimes you do it just because they are who they are. Smiling makes you calmer and happier inside. This attitude shines bright enough to influence others.

15. You’ve built up a support group of family and friends.

You’ve had to let go of some people who, in the past, dragged you down by making you stressed or anxious. Letting go is very difficult to do. It’s a huge step you’ve taken towards success, though. Instead, you have a support group of family and friends with whom you can laugh, discuss, confide, and plan. They love you for the wonderful person you are.

16. You’re doing what you want to do in life because you are in control.

Following your own path, and really enjoying the journey, is a sure-fire way to be successful. You don’t let other people’s opinions stop you from moving towards your dream. You feel empowered and in control of where you’re going. You’re comfortable with this situation.

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17. You consistently factor recreational activities into your routines.

You’re well on the way to success when you timetable exercise and recreational activities into your day. Taking time for yourself is essential in order to relax the mind and body before returning to the work environment. Go to the gym, run, play golf, meet friends for a chat and coffee, or do any other activity that you enjoy. It will recharge your batteries. You’ll feel refreshed, particularly if you do something outdoors.

Things aren’t as bad as you think, after all.

So, you ARE succeeding in life, aren’t you?

It’s okay if you’re not saying “yes” to all seventeen signs of success. Even if you acknowledge one of them, that’s a start. Be happy that you’ve started on the success journey, now go add another… and another.

Success is not a place you travel to, but a part of every day. Success takes effort and persistence. Appreciate your small achievements. Always focus on the positive things in your life.

Yes, you are stepping towards success, even when you don’t feel that you are.

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Now, just keep going.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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